Sunday, September 21, 2014

Power in Hospitals Cannot Flatline

Power supply dependability in medical facilities is literally a matter of life and death. The continuation of our ongoing series on industries most affected by power interruptions…

Most modern hospitals heavily depend on electricity to operate smoothly and efficiently. State-of-the-art facilities like scanning machines, respirators, health monitors and laboratory equipment require electrical energy to function as desired. Offices, patient rooms, operating theatres, intensive care units and neo-natal sections, among others, necessitate power to keep patients, doctors and medical staff comfortable and in optimal health. Communication systems for data handling and information exchange, which ensure that each patient is attended to in the exact manner as needed, are also in crucial need of electricity, as a momentary failure can throw an entire hospital operation in disarray. The topic of energy supply in hospitals and other medical facilities is so critical that it is subject to a myriad of critical regulations aimed at ensuring its perpetual availability.

At present, there exist several technologies that help ensure the continuous availability of electrical power in hospitals and other medical facilities. Hospitals can benefit from renewable energy sources that can boost the amount of electrical power coming from the grid. Co-generation technologies are also gaining traction, with several studies conducted in different countries, geared at investigating the appropriateness of such technologies in specific scenarios and operation requirements. For instance, there was a study conducted in the Netherlands that illustrated that co-generation installations were ideal for hospitals, owing to the concurrent demand for heating, cooling and electricity. The same study also suggested that co-generation facilities could act as back-up generators in cases of grid failures.

The ascribed successes of such technologies, however, are dependent on equipment selection and professional expertise. Moreover, completing such projects may take several years, if one takes into consideration all of the stages, from investigation, design, approval, financing, construction, commissioning, testing and, finally, activating. Financial considerations also need to be factored in.

One technology that may be able to support the other proposed innovations while they are still in progress is rental power. Temporary power generation facilities are capable of providing the necessary power requirement as needed, when needed and where needed by mission-critical operations, like in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Modern interim power systems are scalable, modular and user-friendly, that they can be tailored to supply power as per the specific customer demands, can be delivered from and to any point in the world, and can be installed and commissioned in a matter of days. They also present cost-related benefits, as procuring mobile power stations are considerably economic compared to the projected losses that a hospital may incur should it stay without electrical power.

The subject of electrical power availability in hospitals transcends financial and operational concerns; it, more importantly, revolves around the well-being and the recovery of patients. Lives are anchored on the services of hospitals and healthcare premises, and more than economics, the survival of patients are put in jeopardy in cases of power disruptions. Following this thought, one can just imagine how essential an uninterrupted supply of power is in these types of facilities.


Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

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